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Brewers' Jonathan Lucroy Proving to Be Heart of Surprising NL Central Leaders

Bleacherreport.com  -  On Tuesday night, Jonathan Lucroy showed why he's become the heart of the Milwaukee Brewers. Even on a team that has been the biggest surprise in Major League Baseball so far, that's not an easy feat for an underappreciated player such as Lucroy, especially when he's teammates with hyped-up stars such as Carlos Gomez and Ryan Braun.Lucroy smacked a pair of solo home runs, including a walk-off sho 3 days

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Five Big Things: The return Cliff Lee, the unknotting of the NL and the week ahead in MLB

Sports.yahoo.com  -  Five Big Things is Big League Stew's look at the week ahead in MLB action, examining storylines and matchups you should keep an eye on.1. THE RETURN (AND DEPARTURE?) OF CLIFF LEECliff Lee, welcome to back to the Philadelphia Phillies' starting rotation. Now, don't get too comfortable. Lee, the veteran ace of the Phillies, makes his first start since May 8 on Monday night, and many eyes around bas 4 days

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All-Star lineups: Adam Wainwright starts for NL, Derek Jeter leads off for AL

Sports.yahoo.com  -  We learned three important things at Monday's starting lineup announcement for the 2014 MLB All-Star game —Felix Hernandez is the starting pitcher for the AL, Adam Wainwright is starting for the NL and Derek Jeter is leading off for the AL in his final All-Star game.King Felix was pretty much a given to start for the AL on Tuesday night at Minnesota's Target Field, so the biggest decision of the 8 days

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Thumb injuries to Yadier Molina, Brandon Phillips shake up NL Central

Sports.yahoo.com  -  The news wasn't good for the St. Louis Cardinals and their cornerstone catcher Yadier Molina. Molina has a torn ligament in his thumb and will miss 8-12 weeks after surgery, according to Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak.Nor was it good for the division rival Cincinnati Reds, who confirmed Thursday that their star second baseman Brandon Phillips also needs thumb surgery to repair a ligament 13 days

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MLB All-Star Lineup 2014: Ideal Order for Both AL and NL in Midsummer Classic

Bleacherreport.com  -  Whether you like it or not, the MLB All-Star Game counts for something. That means lineup construction is crucial.The fans were responsible for voting in the starters for both the American and National League, but it's up to each manager's discretion to create a dynamic, balanced order for the top stars of the Midsummer Classic.That can be hard when there are egos to balance and quality hitters t 14 days

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2014 MLB All-Star Game: Projecting Top AL and NL Performers After Rosters Reveal

Bleacherreport.com  -  Do you like monstrous power at the plate? How about unhittable pitching with some of the nastiest stuff from some of the best hurlers in the game? Throw in a few hints of unbelievable defensive gems, and that's exactly what fans will feast their eyes on during the 2014 MLB All-Star Game.Multiple mashers like Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera, Andrew McCutchen and Troy Tulowitzki will look to put on a sh 18 days

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NL All-Stars 2014: Underrated Stars Who Deserved to Start

Bleacherreport.com  -  The 2014 National League All-Star voting got plenty of things right with the elected starters, but that doesn't mean the roster isn't open to a healthy helping of criticism.Fan voting isn't a perfect science—OK, it's not really a science at all—and there is often a brief lag time between when a player starts performing at an All-Star level and when he firmly entrenches himself in the 18 days

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Justin Morneau figures to be NL favorite for final All-Star spot in Minnesota

Sports.yahoo.com  -  Going by overall performance and value using the WAR statistic, Anthony Rendon of the Washington Nationals deserves the final All-Star spot for the National League. But he shouldn't be the favorite to be sent to Target Field. The same goes for Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs, Justin Upton of the Braves and Casey McGehee of the Marlins.The best story, which also might turn into a fun bit of destiny, wou 19 days

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